My Translations from the Second Half of 2019

I’m extremely happy at the end of 2019 because the last six months have been once again full of great books. I’ve published the following translations: a novel by Jesse Ball and a memoir by Andrea Camilleri for :Rata_ and Salamandra; an exhibition catalogue devoted to Takis for MACBA, together with Irene Oliva; three comics by Marjane Satrapi, by Kris and Vincent Bailly adapting Joseph Joffo and by Odyr illustrating George Orwell for Reservoir Books and DeBolsillo, and four illustrated books by Beatrix Potter and Helen Oxenbury, by Marianna Coppo into two languages and by Anna Obiols and Helena Pérez García for Juventud, Joventut and Savanna Books. Ready for 2020!

Carlos Mayor | Traducciones del segundo semestre del 2019 A
Carlos Mayor | Traducciones del segundo semestre del 2019 B
Carlos Mayor | Traducciones del segundo semestre del 2019 C
Carlos Mayor | Traducciones del segundo semestre del 2019 D

Art | Catalan into Spanish | Comics | English into Spanish | Fiction | French into Spanish | Illustrated Books | Italian into Catalan | Italian into Spanish | My Own Trumpet | News | Non Fiction | Recommended

Remember, Remember the 5th of November

V de vendetta

This is a year of professional anniversaries for me. Fifteen years ago, several colleagues specialising in art translations and I set up Barcelona Kontext, which changed my working life. And we’re still here, translating exhibition catalogues and art books.

Twenty years ago, I started sharing an office, which changed my whole life and led me to some of the most important people in my life. And I’m still here, now in el Born, happier than ever.

And thirty years ago (it’s been thirty years since so many things happened) I received my first commission. My first professional translation. That was the beginning of very many things. And it turns out that today is the 5th of November: ‘Remember, Remember the 5th of November’.

In November 1989 (ahem) I had just started translating V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd for Ediciones Zinco and I was walking on air. All of a sudden, my name was appearing in comics next to theirs! Snif. And I’m still here.

V de vendetta
V de vendetta
V de vendetta
V de vendetta
V de vendetta

Comics | English into Spanish | My Own Trumpet | Recommended

My Translations from the First Half of 2019

Here are the translations I have published during the first half of the year: two novels by Andrea Camilleri and Joan-Lluís-Lluís for Salamandra and Navona; two exhibition catalogues about Berenice Abbott and Sergio Prego and Itziar Okariz for Fundación Mapfre and the Venice BiennaleKoenig Books, and five comics by John Carlin and Oriol Malet, by Ray Bradbury and Tim Hamilton, by Zerocalcare, by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius and by Nick Drnaso for DeBolsillo, Reservoir Books and Salamandra Graphic.

Carlos Mayor | Primer semestre del 2019 A

Carlos Mayor | Primer semestre del 2019 B

Carlos Mayor | Primer semestre del 2019 C

Carlos Mayor | Primer semestre del 2019 D

Art | Catalan into Spanish | Comics | English into Catalan | English into Spanish | Fiction | French into Spanish | Italian into Spanish | My Own Trumpet | News | Recommended

A Brief Reflection / on Translation Awards

Turkish-into-Spanish translator Rafael Carpintero has recently received the Best Translation Award 2018 at the Estado Crítico Awards for his translation of Sabahattin Ali’s Madona con abrigo de piel (Salamandra). And he has written a very insightful (and very funny) article on translation awards, which you can read here (in Spanish).

Madona con abrigo de piel

Articles on Translation | Awards | Fiction | From All Over

Cartoon Philosophy

I’m very excited, because the comic book on the left, the Spanish edition of A Cartoon Introduction to Philosophy by Michael F. Patton and Kevin Cannon, in now in its fifth edition. I translated it last year for Debolsillo, it’s a gem and it smells really good. It’s all about Heraclitus, who tells the story of philosophy with a lot of humour and great panache. I recommend it.

And it reminds me of the comic book on the right, by William Messner-Loebs and Sam Kieth, which I translated for Ediciones Zinco. This one is about Epicurus, who talks about philosophy with a lot of humour and great panache. It’s also a gem, but it doesn’t really smell anymore, since I translated it, ahem, twenty-eight (28) years ago! Ah, the dizziness.

Filosofía de tebeo

Comics | English into Spanish | My Own Trumpet | Recommended

A New Catalogue: Berenice Abbott

So, it seems that I have been translating exhibition catalogues for 25 years now, for I started out in a very distant 1994, working for Fundación La Caixa. Since then, I have been lucky enough to work on many a project for quite a few museums and art centres.

This is the last one: at Barcelona Kontext we have been translating the catalogues for Fundación Mapfre‘s exhibitions into Catalan for a handful of years and a new exhibition has just opened in Barcelona. «Berenice Abbott. Portraits of Modernity» will be at Casa Garriga Nogués until the 19th of May and then it will move to Sala Recoletos in Madrid from the 1st of June to the 25th of August, and to Huis Marseille in Amsterdam from the 7th of September to the 1st of December.

The catalogue looks really beautiful, doesn’t it?

Art | English into Catalan | My Own Trumpet | Non Fiction | Recommended | Spanish into Catalan

Translation from Within

A couple of weeks ago, Álvaro Macías Rondán published this article about literary translation in the Spanish newspaper 20 Minutos: ‘La traducción desde dentro: un oficio invisible que habla alto y claro‘ (Translation from Within: An Invisible Trade That Speaks Loud and Clear). He interviewed José Luis López Muñoz, Daniel Sancosmed, María Teresa Gallego, Carmen Montes, Ana María Bejarano, Eugenia Vázquez-Nacarino and myself to discuss no less than our profession, the legendary visibility and our favourite books out of all the ones we’ve worked on.

La traducción desde dentro

Articles on Translation | Comics | English into Spanish | Fiction | French into Spanish | Italian into Spanish | My Own Trumpet

Juan de Sola Takes Home the Ángel Crespo Award

Juan de Sola has won the XXI Ángel Crespo Translation Award, given out by ACEC, Cedro and the Gremi d’Editors de Catalunya, for his translation of Correspondencia 1914-1922 by Marcel Proust and Jacques Rivière. The book was published last year by La Uña Rota and De Sola was also in charge of the preface and the notes. Congratulations!

XXI Premio Ángel Crespo

Awards | From All Over | Recommended | Translators' Associations

Concha Cardeñoso Wins the Esther Benítez Award 2018

On the 1st of December, at 7 pm, ACE Traductores will present the Esther Benítez Award 2018 to Concha Cardeñoso for her Spanish translation of Daphne de Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel, published by Alba. The ceremony will be held in Madrid, at Casa del Lector, the headquarters of ACE Traductores. Congratulations!

Premio Esther Benítez 2018

Awards | English into Spanish | Fiction | Recommended | Translators' Associations

Ten Great Comics Lined Up

I’m terribly excited because my next translations are ten great comics and graphic novels, some ready to print and some yet to be started. They are by Alejandro Jodorowsky/Moebius, Nick Drnaso, Roberto Saviano/Asaf Hanuka, Georgia Marras, Marjane Satrapi, Greg Pak/Jonathan Coulton, John Carlin/Oriol Malet, Zerocalcare, Ken Krimstein and Odyr, and will be published by the likes of Salamandra, Reservoir Books and Sapristi. Good stuff coming up!


Comics | English into Spanish | French into Spanish | Italian into Spanish | My Own Trumpet | News

Two Wonderful Catalogues

I continue to translate for several museums and art centers regularly, and recently two catalogues on which I have worked have been published. The first is Dadá ruso. 1914-1924, from the exhibition that can be visited at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS) until the 22nd of October.

This exhibition explores Russian avant-garde art through the perspective of the Anti-art canons associated with the international Dada movement. The catalogue, edited by Margarita Tupitsyn and the Department of Publishing Activities at MNCARS, has been designed by Tipos Móviles. The texts, both new and old, are very complex and have required thorough research. Luckily, for this translation into Spanish there was a flank well covered: for the transliterations I received help from Marta Sánchez-Nieves, award-winning translator of Russian literature.

Dadá ruso

Dadá ruso

Dadá ruso

Dadá ruso

Dadá ruso

Dadá ruso

Dadá ruso

Dadá ruso

The other catalogue is for the Brassaï exhibition put together by Fundación Mapfre earlier this year. The show already opened at Casa Garriga Nogués in Barcelona back in February and then it moved to Sala Recoletos in Madrid. On the 17th of November, it will open at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), where it will remain until the 17th of February.

At Barcelona Kontext, Mercè Bolló and I were in charge of the Catalan translation. The curator and editorial director was Peter Galassi, while Lacasta Design took care of the graphic design.









Art | English into Catalan | English into Spanish | My Own Trumpet | News | Non Fiction | Recommended

Happy International Translation Day

Once again, we celebrate International Translation Day on the 30th of September. This year, the International Federation of Translators (FIT) is promoting it with this poster by Italian graphic designer Riccardo d’Urso. And the Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters of Catalonia (APTIC) is also celebrating it on Thursday with a lecture by multi-award-winning translator Dolors Udina, who will talk about the fascinating female authors she has translated, from Jean Rhys to Virginia Woolf.

Three cheers for Saint Jerome and many happy returns to translators all around!



From All Over | Translators' Associations

De vegades hi ha llibres…

De vegades hi ha llibres che ti piacciono così tanto que tienes que traducirlos dos veces.

El zorro y el aviador | La guineu i l'aviador

El zorro y el aviador | La guineu i l'aviador

El zorro y el aviador | La guineu i l'aviador

Illustrated Books | Italian into Catalan | Italian into Spanish | My Own Trumpet | News | Recommended

So Why Does One Translate?

I have just read an article called ‘¿Que por qué traduzco?’ (So Why Do I Translate?), posted several months ago by renowned Turkish-into-Spanish translator Rafael Carpintero in his blog, El Carpintero Traductor. And I like it, like every thing of his that I have read. And it makes me think of another article, ‘Por qué traduzco’ (Why Do I Translate?), published by renowned English-into-Spanish translator Ismael Attrache in El Trujamán. And I also like it, like every thing of his that I have read. And that’s that.


Articles on Translation | English into Spanish | Fiction | From All Over | Non Fiction

An Afternoon with Tom Gauld

It doesn’t happen everyday. Sometimes translators are in touch with their authors, sometimes we get to meet them in person and sometimes we even have the chance to chat with them for a while. But rarely can we spend a whole afternoon with an author we admire, ask them whatever we want and then hear them speak in public in the evening.

That’s what happened to me a few days ago when Tom Gauld came to Barcelona to speak at Primera Persona, a literary festival held at CCCB. He also launched the Spanish edition of his new book, Cooking with Kafka (Salamandra Graphic), which I translated a few months ago. It features wonderful strips such as these two the publisher has animated for our enjoyment:

Before that book, I had already translated a graphic novel by Gauld that’s sweet and funny and endearing, Mooncop. There’s also a video:

And so it happened that I spent the afternoon as Tom’s interpreter for several interviews with the Spanish press, such as this one for El Periódico.

At one point, he signed a copy of the Spanish edition of Mooncop for me, and then I asked him if he could possible draw me while I was translating one of his books. He made me this caricature on the credit page of the Spanish edition of Cooking with Kafka:

Dedicatoria de Tom Gauld

And then, in the evening, he gave his talk at Primera Persona. The theatre was packed:

It was, to sum it up, a memorable day. And luckily there was absolutely no tension of this sort between author and translator:

El autor y su traductor

Comics | English into Spanish | My Own Trumpet | News | Recommended

I pini di Roma

I pini di Roma

My second residency this year, after the fellowship at the Bogliasco Foundation in January, is in Rome. I’m spending the month of April at the Casa delle Traduzioni, working on a terribly difficult and terribly entertaining book by Gianni Rodari to be published by Editorial Juventud.

I’m enjoying my time here tremendously, translating a lot and in good company. And of course the highlight of it all was attending the big tribute to Andrea Camilleri at the Casa del Cinema in Villa Borghese, a few days ago. The Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia presented the latest issue of a Bianco e Nero magazine, dedicated to Il Maestro, who taught at the Centro in the fifties and sixties. And among the many texts of friends, former students and experts on the work of Camilleri there is a little article by me! I talk about the translation into Spanish of the last case of Inspector Montalbano, to be published by Ediciones Salamandra. You can read it here.

Andrea Camilleri | Casa del Cinema | Bianco e NeroAndrea Camilleri | Casa del Cinema | Bianco e Nero

Finally, and thanks to a recommendation from Ignasi Cristià, this has been the soundtrack to that afternoon in Villa Borghese and to so many walks around Rome this month. It’s the symphonic poem I pini di Roma by Ottorino Respighi {1. I pini di Villa Borghese 2. Pini presso una catacomba 3. I pini del Gianicolo 4. I pini della Via Appia}:

Articles on Translation | Fiction | Italian into Spanish | My Own Trumpet | Residencies and Fellowships

The Vanguard of Literary Change

‘Translators are the vanguard of literary change: we need better recognition’, says the illustrious Daniel Hahn in a great article he has written for The Guardian, which you can read here. Last year, Daniel won €25,000 at the International Dublin Literary Award for his translation of A General Theory of Oblivion, by Angolan author José Eduardo Agualusa. With half of that money, and the backing of the Society of Authors’ Translators Association (TA) and The British Council, he funded an award designed to recognise a great literary translation debut published in the UK.

The first winner of the TA First Translation Prize is Bela Shayevich for her translation of Second-Hand Time by Svetlana Alexievich (Fitzcarraldo Editions), edited by Jacques Testard. Translator and editor share the £2,000 awarded (you can see all six shortlisted books in the picture below). And in this piece Daniel takes the chance to state some very clear facts.

The TA First Translation Prize 2018

Articles on Translation | Awards | From All Over

A Fellowship at the Bogliasco Foundation

Do you know the one about the choreographer, the translator, the composer, the playwright, the photographer, the dantist, the filmmaker and the art historian in residence in a Ligurian villa by the sea, as fellows of the Bogliasco Foundation?

How lucky to be working here, just outside Genoa, with this amazing group. It’s an honour to spend this sunny month of January with Christopher Williams, Anne LeBaron, Frank J. Avella, Wit McKay, Francesco Ciabattoni, Offer Egozy and George Gorse.

Bogliasco Foundation

Bogliasco Fellows January 2018 (Photos: Adel Oberto)

Below you’ll find a couple of home videos. This is Villa dei Pini, the Study Centre. The garden is a wonderful maze that always leads to the sea:

And this is the village, Bogliasco, fuori stagione:

Art | Articles on Translation | Residencies and Fellowships | Training

Anthea Bell, Grande Dame of Translation

If you only read one interview with a translator this year, let it be this one by Claire Armitstead, who speaks to the charming Anthea Bell. It was published in The Guardian in 2013. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Astérix in English

Articles on Translation | Awards | Comics | Fiction | From All Over

The First Book I’m Reading This Year

Here I am, about to start reading La voce del testo, by Franca Cavagnoli (Feltrinelli).

From All Over | Non Fiction | Recommended

An Interview in Orlandiana about the Esther Benítez Award

There’s a great blog called Orlandiana that talks about the ceremony at which I received the 12th Esther Benítez Award, bestowed by ACE Traductores on the 15th of December at Casa del Lector. They also interview me. Thank you so much!

You can read it here.

Entrega XII Premio Esther Benítez

Awards | English into Spanish | Fiction | My Own Trumpet | Translators' Associations

Irene de la Torre Talks about Her Experience at CELA

It raises the spirits to see Irene de la Torre’s excitement in this article on the Escuela de Escritores website. She talks about her experience in Pisa with CELA, a European Union project for young translators recently set up which will continue for two years. What a superb idea!

Proyecto CELA de la Unión Europea

Articles on Translation | Fiction | Residencies and Fellowships | Training

Off to Madrid to Receive the Esther Benítez Award on the 15th of December

I’m off to Madrid in a few weeks to receive the Esther Benítez Award, bestowed by ACE Traductores to honour the best translation published in Spain last year! I am on cloud nine, it’s really wonderful to have won this award, voted by literary translators from all over Spain! Furthermore, it’s for my translation of La noche de los niños (God Help the Child), a book by Toni Morrison that took me to BILTC at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and has brought me joy on many different levels.

The ceremony will take place on the 15th of December at 7 pm in room 6.11 of the very wonderful Casa del Lector, the headquarters of ACE Traductores.

Las tres ediciones de la novela en español y tres de las aparecidas en inglés

Awards | English into Spanish | Fiction | Illustrated Books | My Own Trumpet | Residencies and Fellowships | Translators' Associations

Is David Pearson the Coolest Book Cover Designer in the World?

I have a feeling that David Pearson is the coolest book cover designer in the whole wide world. If you don’t believe me, go ahead and check out his wonderful website.

David Pearson 1

David Pearson 2

David Pearson 3

David Pearson 4

From All Over | Recommended

My Translation of God Help the Child Has Been Shortlisted for the Esther Benítez Award!

I’m over the moon! I made the shortlist for the Esther Benítez Award, bestowed by ACE Traductores, for my translation of La noche de los niños by Toni Morrison (Lumen), a book that has given me so much! Even better, I’m in great company with Rita da Costa, shortlisted for El camino estrecho al norte profundo by Richard Flanagan (Literatura Random House), María Enguix for Cuando el diablo salió del baño by Sophie Divry (Malpaso), Julia Osuna for Hasta arriba by W. E. Bowman (Blackie Books) and Eugenia Vázquez-Nacarino for Manual para mujeres de la limpieza by Lucia Berlin (Alfaguara).

La noche de los niños

Awards | English into Spanish | Fiction | My Own Trumpet | Translators' Associations

The Fables of Saint Jerome

Last Friday, on the eve of the feast of Saint Jerome of Stridon, El País published an excellent article by Aurelio Major titled ‘Fábulas de san Jerónimo’. In it, the writer and translator says: ‘Translating is transferring, transporting tradition, interpreting, migrating tirelessly, because the only nation is the very many books, transformed, re-read, renovated with every new version’.

And today, Tuesday, that very same newspaper has published a piece by Paula Corroto, titled ‘Los personajes invisibles de la literatura’, in which (under a somewhat alarming subheading) she interviews Miguel Sáenz, José Luis López Muñoz, Carmen Francí, Jesús Cuéllar, Carlos Fortea, David Paradela, Itziar Hernández Rodilla, Alicia Martorell and myself. And we all tell rather entertaining stories about this profession of ours.

Ilustración de Fernando Vicente

Articles on Translation | From All Over | My Own Trumpet | Translators' Associations

Many Happy Returns to All Translators

Thanks to the International Federation of Translators (FIT), this is the first year that the United Nations recognize the 30th of September as International Translation Day, thus increasing its impact. The celebration was first held in 1953 on the festivity of Saint Jerome, who translated the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into Latin and is considered the patron saint of translators. FIT has chosen translation and diversity as the theme for 2017 and has come up with a campaign around this image:


In Spain, the Ministry for Culture has launched a wonderful campaign through social media. It’s called ‘Invisible Authors’ and is a very welcome idea for this wonderful profession, always in need of help. They have prepared a series of videos starring five translators: Antonio Alvar, Celia Filipetto, David Jou, Gemma Rovira and Marta Sánchez-Nieves. Happy International Translation Day everyone!

From All Over | Translators' Associations

My Next Translations

I have several wonderful titles lined-up. My third translation of a Gianni Rodari book, Escuela de fantasía, will be published by Blackie Books in September, and the fourth, which will probably be called Inventem els números in Catalan, will be published by Kalandraka with beautiful illustrations by Alessandro Sanna, just like the previous one, Un conte embolicat. Then there’s the third graphic novel by Zerocalcare that I’m lucky enough to translate into Spanish for Reservoir Books, like the two previous ones, La profecía del armadillo and Kobane Calling. And to top it all we have a new case for Inspector Montalbano, La pirámide de barro, which will be published by Salamandra next year.

Comics | Fiction | Illustrated Books | Italian into Catalan | Italian into Spanish | My Own Trumpet | News | Non Fiction

So, Can I Be Happy?

I’ve been reading books in Anagrama’s Narrativas Hispánicas collection all my life. And now suddenly I’ve translated a novel by Tina Vallès for them. It’s called La memoria del árbol and it won the II Premio Llibres Anagrama earlier this year. And it’s simple and complex and wonderful.

Awards | Catalan into Spanish | Fiction | My Own Trumpet | News

Writers and Translators Honoured by the Premio Strega Europeo

And here’s the shortlist for Italy’s Premio Strega Europeo 2017, which gives € 3,000 to the winning author and, starting this year, also € 1,500 to their translator: Mathias Enard, Bussola (e/o), translated by Yasmina Melaouah; Jenny Erpenbeck, Voci del verbo andare (Sellerio), translated by Ada Vigliani; Jonas Hassen Khemiri, Tutto quello che non ricordo (Iperborea), translated by Alessandro Bassini; László Krasznahorkai, Satantango (Bompiani), translated by Dora Várnai, and Ali Smith, L’una e l’altra (Sur), translated by Federica Aceto. Congratulations to all ten!

Premio Strega Europeo 2017

UPDATE: The winners are Jenny Erpenbeck and her translator, Ada Vigliani, for Voci del verbo andare (Sellerio). Congratulations!

Awards | Fiction | From All Over

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